You are My Prophet

Today’s readings send out a call all Christians to preach the word of God to the world. In the first reading we find Amos delivering God’s message in a foreign land. Amos made it clear this was not his life’s calling. “I’m no prophet,” he said, “I’m just a shepherd.” In the Gospel, Jesus sends his ill-prepared apostles on the mission of bringing His truth to those who will listen. God knew what he was doing in carefully choosing those men even though they weren’t preachers by trade.

Both Amos and the apostles knew they would be confronted by people who found it hard to accept the truth. Amos was thrown out of Bethel and told to go back to where he came from. Likewise, Jesus warned his apostles that many people would not welcome their preaching. They would be ridiculed and turned away for bearing God’s message. When that happened, Our Lord told them to shake the dust off their feet and continue-on with their mission.

In much the same way, we have been called to be prophets, or heralds of the Gospel’s truth. At our baptism we were anointed with Sacred Chrism and received the grace of the Holy Spirit. Through that grace we are strengthened to participate in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and King. Being a modern-day prophet of God is a concept we need to understand and embrace.

As prophets chosen in Baptism we are given the mission to hear the truth of the Gospel, understand it, live it and proclaim it to the world. That doesn’t mean we have to stand on a soapbox telling everyone what they need to do to be saved. It simply means we should live our life according to God’s plan and make our lives examples of Christian living for others to see and follow.

Our mission is not easy and comes fraught with trials and tribulations. There are many examples of Christian living that test us just as much as Amos and the apostles were tested. When we are challenged, God asks us to persevere in doing what we know is right, even if it takes us outside of our “comfort zone.”

Fifty years ago, a brief 12-page letter to the world written by Pope Paul VI presented a new test of our resolve in fulfilling our prophetic mission. On July 25, 1968, in his Encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” Pope Paul affirmed God’s truth concerning the sanctity of human life and the purpose and use of our sexuality. Many people found his letter hard to understand and accept. The pressures of living in a “sexually permissive” society caused them to grapple with just how to live according to the Truth. But with prayer and openness to God’s plan it’s not that difficult to do.

This Encyclical extols the wonderous beauty and sanctity of human life. It confirms that our human sexuality is a sacred gift from God that is to be respected, safeguarded and used to fulfill His plan for mankind. That plan reveals God’s love for us in the creation of the human person.

In creating us male and female, God bestowed on us a share in His nobility to assist him in his plan for creating and sustaining human life. In accord with that plan, we are asked to assure that nothing disrupts its fulfillment.

What is often unheeded in Pope Paul’s message is his call to “Responsible Parenthood,” that upholds the values of life and the family. That concept recognizes that we have the knowledge and intellect necessary to assist God in carrying out His plan. Responsible parenthood is achieved either by the generous decision to raise a family, or the deliberate use of our intellect and reason to exercise dominion over our passions in a way that avoids pregnancy, for the time being, without compromising the sanctity of our human sexuality.

When acting in this manner, husband and wife work together to safeguard the essential aspects of the unitive and procreative nature of marital life, while responsibly living according to God’s plan.

Accomplishing that plan, however, is not easily done. The decision to consciously live the truth is made more difficult when man disrupts God’s plan with ways to avoid the generation of new life. Those contraventions don’t require us to control our passions. They don’t require an openness to God’s will. They only offer a no-thought way to avoid making tough decisions about using our sexuality in the manner God intended. Contrary to God’s plan for life, they lead us to succumb to human weakness and disregard the truth found in the moral law Christ and his Church have taught us.

Pope Paul recognized that preaching the truth about life and love would be difficult. Like the apostles during their mission, our commitment to live the truth of our sexuality may make us a “sign of contradiction” to those who are not willing to accept the truth received from Christ.

The Encyclical was wise in many ways.  It acknowledges that WE ARE HUMAN and sometimes we fail to live what we know to be true. When that happens, Pope Paul encourages us to turn to the sacraments which open for us paths of grace, forgiveness and healing. Then he calls on us to persevere in our mission as prophets of God’s truth, continuing the vocation begun at our baptism.

Like Amos and the apostles, we are not theologians. We are accountants and nurses; we are engineers and teachers; we are construction workers and civil servants; we are husbands and wives. Yet we all share a common mission: to hear, live and preach the truth.

When your mission becomes too hard to do, re-read the passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where we are told:

“God has given us the wisdom, to understand fully the mystery, the plan he was pleased to decree in Christ. …A plan to bring all things into one in him, in the heavens and on earth.”

Persevere in living and preaching God’s plan through the example of your life.

Trust in God and He will give you the grace and wisdom you need to carry out your mission as his prophet to the world.

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Don’t take a vacation from Mass

Summer is a wonderful time to get away for rest and rejuvenation, but don’t let summer fun draw you away from what is always important, your weekly Mass obligation.

Check out the Mass times in the area you are traveling by visiting www.masstimes.org

Enjoy the summer and be safe.  We look forward to seeing you on your return to King of Prussia.

 

 

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by Susan Dugary

by Susan Dugary

MDP: Shore Up the Future

MDP: Shore Up the Future

Dear Family and Friends of MDP,

On December 8th, Mother of Divine Providence parish celebrated its 63rd Anniversary as the Catholic community of King of Prussia.  Throughout those many years, we have been blessed with a beautiful campus, an outstanding elementary school and wonderful parishioners.

Most of you who are founding members, built a solid and beautiful campus where the liturgical, spiritual, sacramental, educational and cultural needs of our parishioners can be met.  We need now to “Shore Up the Future” for generations of Catholics to come.

Last fall you should have received in the mail a copy of our Parish’s June 30, 2017 Operating Report.  Your weekly contributions to the Sunday collection have allowed the parish to operate on essentially a break-even basis.

Like many of us, as our campus ages, it needs repairs that go beyond our normal operating budget which is funded by our Sunday collection.   Over the next 2-3 years, we face several large repair and/or replacement projects that are necessary to keep our campus safe and functional.  These projects, which can no longer be deferred, include the following: Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

Christ has always been the ‘stone rejected’

What we celebrate during these Easter weeks is our new life in Christ. Saint John says:” See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” And yet he warns us that the world will never know us because it will never recognize Him.

We forget that the Church will never belong totally to the world and that the world will never fully accept the Church. In fact, if we find we ourselves becoming accepted by the world, we know we have become too complacent. The Church flourishes when it suffers, like Jesus on the Cross.

So, we need to be careful if we are to lead this new life, we need to be watchful that the seeds of this world are not nourished but rather are rooted out by our vigilance in prayer and in the reception of the sacraments.

Continue reading

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by Father Cioppi

Resources to Build Strong Families

Support, encouragement, and advice for marriage and parenting at every age and stage.  Solid Catholic content sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:  http://www.foryourmarriage.org

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by Susan Dugary

MANY THANKS to all who made the “Helping Hands” Rice Bowl Service Project a great success!

Last weekend, nearly one hundred volunteers came together in the MDP gym to pack meals for Burkina Faso, Africa!

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of so many people, we were able to purchase, pack, and ship FOURTEEN THOUSAND high-nutrient meals to communities living in poverty in Burkina Faso, Africa!

Funds were raised through the Lenten Poor Box and Operation Rice Bowl.  We had initially planned to raise $5,000… but last week we hit the $7,000 mark, and still have a few more Rice Bowls to tally!

Our event was fun and high-energy… with music blasting, a few people were caught having a dance party while we packed!

As a family-friendly service project, we had a job for everyone ages 5+.  Our smallest volunteers had some of our best attitudes and “helping hands!”

And we couldn’t have done it without our heavy-lifters, who shouldered boxes and bags of rice weighing up to 50 lbs!

Our leadership team was comprised of the Ettore, Lloyd, and Galdi families.  Many thanks to each of them!

We are especially grateful to our fundraising partners: MDP Lenten Poor Box, Operation Rice Bowl, MTC Regional Catholic School, MDP Knights of Columbus, and MDP PREP!  And we are thankful to Medina Professional Photography Solutions for capturing the wonderful spirit and energy of our big day.

Watch for our next “Helping Hands” event in Spring 2019! If you would like to be on the Helping Hands / Operation Rice Bowl team for next year, please contact Lauren Joyce at 610-337-2173.

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by Lauren Joyce

Deacon Greg Maskarinec’s Easter Homily

Christos Voskrese!  Voistinu Voskrese!  Those are the first words I remember hearing each Easter morning as a child.   Well, not the first.  The first words were talking with my brothers about the excitement of Easter while we lay in bed waiting for the go ahead to get up.  We talked about what kind of candy we would get in our Easter basket.  And we’d talk about the feast we’d have after Mass: ham, kielbasa, pascha with raisins, kolachi, hrutka and hard boiled eggs.

When we got out of bed we’d exchange the obligatory Easter greeting with one another…Chritos Voskrese! and the response…Voistinu Voskrese!  As a kid, I hated that part!  Why couldn’t we just say “Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!” which is what the Slovak “Cristos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese” translates to in English.  Or better yet, why couldn’t we be like a normal family an just say “Happy Easter”?

When I first learned that Easter greeting I’m sure I was too young to understand what it meant that Christ is risen from the dead.  That was many years ago.  My understanding of Easter and its profound implications have deepened over the years.  Hopefully, so has yours.  By Jesus’ passion and death He has paid the price for our sins.  By Jesus’ resurrection He had conquered death and we are no longer held in its clenches.  By Jesus’ resurrection He has ushered in a new kingdom – a new heaven and earth.  We are members in this new kingdom through our baptism into Jesus’ death and resurrection.  We don’t have to live as though this is the only shot at life.  We don’t have to grasp at every pleasure that only brings temporary happiness.  We trust that we will rise with Christ in gloried bodies that do not experience the decay and limitations of our earthly bodies. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

Father Cioppi’s Easter Vigil Homily

“On this night in which Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church calls upon us to come together to watch and pray.  If we keep this living Memorial of the Paschal Mystery in this way, listening to His Word and celebrating the Sacraments, then we will have sure hope of sharing also his triumph over death and living with Him in God.”

And so, in these early hours before Dawn, we accompany the women to the Tomb.  There has not been time to provide the burial services for the body and so the women, who had attended Jesus through His Public Ministry come to the place where then had laid Him.

When they reached the Tomb, the stone was rolled away, and in it there was a messenger who gave them the unbelievable news that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The women were left stunned, as we are in this moment, Jesus has risen from the dead.  how can this be true?  Nevertheless, if it were not true, we would never have heard of Him, history would never have remembered Him.

The women had come to bury their Teacher; the Apostles’ attitude was one of defeat and of ultimate tragedy.

Be we know Him of Whom they speak! After two thousand years, the words are still freshly spoken, “Do not be amazed!  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.  He has been raised; He is not here.”

We know that what the messenger said is true because now, we are witnessing the unbelievable event And, there are others who have come to believe, who seek a new Way of Life in the Risen Lord!  Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

Holy Week at MDP

We hope you will come and pray among us!

“We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.”

  • Confessions:  M, Tu, W @ 7pm in Church
  • 3/29 Holy Thursday: (Mass of the Last Supper) 7:30pm in Church
  • 3/30 Good Friday: 3:00pm in Church
  • 3/31 Easter Vigil: 8:00pm in Church
  • 4/1 Easter Sunday: 7:30, 9:30, 11:30am in Church

For the curious… the “big three” liturgies of Holy Week are Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil.  These are the “Triduum,” or the three holiest days of the year.  If you are able, we invite you to pray all three of these liturgies with us.  We begin in the “upper room” as Jesus celebrates the Passover with His Apostles.  (This is the most family-friendly of the three liturgies, and has a beautiful Eucharistic procession at the end.)  Jesus then goes out to the Garden of Gethsemane, and we go with him, watching and waiting.  (The Church is open for prayer all night long.)  On Good Friday, as we fast and abstain from meat, the passion and death of the Lord is never far from our minds.  At the 3:00pm service marking the death of the Lord on the cross, we mourn for this Lord and Savior who has loved us at the price of His own life.  We then wait in silence… the Lord is in the tomb.  There is no Mass on Saturday morning.  (There is 8:00am Morning Prayer and blessing of Easter food.)  After our long silence, we come together in the dark for the Easter Vigil, “watching and waiting” for the Resurrection of the Lord.  This service begins outside in the dark, and we enter the inky-black Church led only by the light of the Easter Candle.  Throughout the Vigil, the light grows and climaxes at the baptism of our new Catholics and the reception of Holy Communion.  Amen, Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

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by Lauren Joyce